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Alternatives to ManageEngine PAM360

StrongDM manages and audits access to infrastructure.
  • Role-based, attribute-based, & just-in-time access to infrastructure
  • Connect any person or service to any infrastructure, anywhere
  • Logging like you've never seen

ManageEngine’s PAM360 gives system administrators a centralized way to manage and audit user and privileged accounts within network resources. It also tracks and analyzes unusual privileged activity through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities. However, teams that need to manage secure access to Kubernetes environments or enforce password policies within their privileged access management (PAM) system may want to consider other options. This blog post will cover ManageEngine PAM 360 and some solid alternatives, along with the pros and cons of each.

ManageEngine PAM360

Brief product summary

A business unit of Zoho Corp, ManageEngine offers numerous IT, DevOps, and cybersecurity solutions, including its PAM360 privileged access management (PAM) platform. PAM360 provides tools that enable granular control and monitoring of users within critical network resources and assets. These tools apply to IT system administrators who maintain and protect technology assets and DevOps engineers who secure development environments.

PAM360 also offers features that help privileged users streamline workflows for validation ticketing, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate management, and Secure Socket Shell (SSH) key management.

Use cases

  • Integrates with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) for centralized machine identity, credentials, and user management
  • Protects teams against credential-based attacks throughout DevOps processes
  • Provides system visibility with anomaly detection, user activity tracking, and AI behavior analysis

Pluses

  • Offers just-in-time controls and remediation for privileges and account permissions
  • Provides simplified auditing and compliance reporting for activity data
  • Includes preventive, detective, and remediation privileged security features
  • Integrates with SSL certificate management systems, such as Digicert™ and GoDaddy™

Minuses

  • Offers no solutions for incorporating organizational policies and standards into user password management requirements
  • Cannot manage secure access to Kubernetes or other data container systems

StrongDM

Brief product summary

StrongDM is an Infrastructure Access Platform (IAP) that lets administrators and security leaders manage accessibility to cloud-based service accounts, databases, and Kubernetes systems. It acts as a single source of truth to automate user provisioning workflows while securing verification with multi-factor authentication (MFA), role-based access control (RBAC), and enforcement of protected session types, including SSH and Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

Use cases

  • Simplifies user onboarding through instant, granular resource provisioning with temporary privilege authentication
  • Facilitates streamlined offboarding with one-click removals and single sign-on (SSO) suspension
  • Enables automated least privilege and policy enforcement
  • Provides robust query commands, session replay, web activity, and application request monitoring with data logging to manage audits

Pluses

  • Simple platform deployment with no server installation requirements, plus an easy-to-navigate interface
  • Standard and transparent pricing model, which includes all features in one plan
  • Wide range of resource types for protected access management and logging, which include SSH, databases, Kubernetes, and cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Excellent platform usability attributes supplemented by 24/7/365 customer support
  • A solid solution for developing and enforcing Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Minuses

  • Requires continuous access to StrongDM’s Application Programming Interface (API) to access managed resources, forcing organizations to rely on StrongDM’s system for security management and resource accessibility

CyberArk Privileged Access Manager

Brief product summary

Founded in the late 1990s, CyberArk has been a prominent provider of identity security and access management solutions. Its Privileged Access Manager tool is well-suited for enterprise-level businesses that use legacy systems, including

  • Windows or Linux servers
  • Databases, such as Oracle, Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) Server, or IBM’s Db2
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories

With CyberArk, system administrators can manage and track encryption keys, remote access, user accounts, sessions, governance policies, and resource privileges with cloud, on-premises, and hybrid deployments.

Use cases

  • Controls and tracks privileged and non-privileged network sessions
  • Secures, leases, and administers privileged credentials through a password vault
  • Provides RBAC for Linux and Windows servers and Oracle, DB2, and SQL databases
  • Ensures enterprise security policy governance and enforcement through the PAM system

Pluses

  • Allows for cloud, on-premises, and hybrid deployments
  • Enables privileged users and administrators to enforce organizational policies (such as password requirements) within the PAM using the Master Policy tool
  • Provides authentication through Active Directory, LDAP servers, Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), or Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS)
  • Allows for RDP and web SSH sessions and comes with audit logging plus session replays

Minuses

  • Its outdated interface can be difficult to navigate and operate, leading to poor user experiences (UX)
  • A complex deployment process that requires direct installation on customer servers
  • Lack of secure access management for Kubernetes or other data container systems
  • A complex and opaque pricing model

JumpCloud IAM & Device Management Platform

Brief product summary

JumpCloud is a modern-day solution that combines a cloud directory tool with an identity, access, and device management platform in a single system. It can administer SSO, MFA, and RBAC security controls, includes a credential vault for privileged users, and performs activity logging for detection and audit reporting purposes. The subscription options are relatively cost-friendly, divided by specific modules and features, such as user provisioning, SSO configuration, identity and access management, and Zero Trust turnkey implementation.

Use cases

  • Delivers end-to-end lifecycle management for machine identities, devices, applications, and other network resources
  • Simplifies user onboarding, offboarding, and privileged access provisioning
  • Offers network and server authentication through RADIUS and cloud LDAP
  • Provides activity and events data tracking, logging, and reporting
  • Enables identity-based authentication for Zero Trust architecture
  • Offers APIs and cloud directory-based integration with Active Directory, Google Workspace, and Microsoft 365

Pluses

  • Well-known for its usability when setting up, operating, and administering with no hardware or separate maintenance required by the IT staff
  • Offers control management features necessary for Zero Trust and industry standards, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Works with a wide range of usable operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Offers a free plan for up to ten users and devices

Minuses

  • No session replay, recording, or playback features
  • Limited customer support for the free version
  • No automated or customizable approval workflows

About the Author

, Director, Global Customer Engineering, has worked in the information security industry for 20 years on tasks ranging from firewall administration to network security monitoring. His obsession with getting people access to answers led him to publish Practical Vulnerability Management with No Starch Press in 2020. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Clark University, an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Connecticut, and an M.S. in Information Management from the University of Washington. To contact Andy, visit him on LinkedIn.

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